Rather than the animation of old, with Casey Kasem's dulcet tones for Shaggy, The Mystery Map is a whole new departure for Scooby-Doo & pals. They're puppets! Actually really really well animated puppets, and more Sesame Street than I was expecting. They definitely look like the original characters, so there was no trouble distinguishing who was who, to Squeaky's demands of "who's that?" for the first ten minutes or so. It was good to see Daphne & Velma develop a bit of actual personality, though Fred was still a bit of a drip. More importantly than that though, I am happy to confirm there was no Scrappy-Doo. Let me say that again, No Scrappy-Doo. This is vitally important, and I know there are many people who will be greatly relieved to learn that.
At just over an hour, it was the perfect length to keep Squeaky's attention, and the film would comfortably break up into two separate episodes, as the story divides quite nicely into two distinct parts, so if you're not so good at staying still for an hour, you can split it up to match the attention span of your mini audience.
The story is a great Scooby-Doo adventure, with all the features you'd expect - Scooby Snacks, running round randomly & screaming, hiding behind curtains, and the all important un-masking, complete with "I would've got away with it if it weren't for you pesky kids", which of course kept Daddy & I in stitches. Squeaky just looked at us as if we'd gone mad. Maybe we had!
For an easily scared child, as Squeaky is at present, it still wasn't too scary, and so full of silliness any momentary worries were quickly forgotten when the next laugh came along. A great choice for curling up on the sofa on a chilly winter's afternoon, with a bag of popcorn.
Scooby-Doo Adventures - The Mystery Map wa released on 21 October 2013, and is available from Amazon and other retailers.
Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of the DVD free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not told what to write and all opinions are my own. Links are provided for convenience only, I am not a member of any affiliate scheme & will not receive reward for their use.